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I'm feeling nostalgic and decided to take another run through the BG saga. Actually, it's been so long that I've forgotten a lot of the story. If I can get it to work with the Widescreen mod, I'll be using EasyTutu to play through with the BG2 system. Anyway, I'm looking for suggestions regarding my protagonist and partly about the party.

For BG1, I'm going canon with Khalid, Jah, Imoen, Minsc, Dynaheir. I'll probably ditch Dyna and maybe even Minsc for a bit when I dual Imoen, just so I can have a thief until she catches up her levels.

For BG2, I'm going with Yoshi/Imoen, Jah, and Minsc, rotating out the rest for NPC quests, though I'm not sure who I'd want to settle on. Also, I'd probably go with the Jah romance.

As for the protagonist. I'm somewhat up in the air. A few thoughts I had:

Ranger/Cleric - interesting combo, but a little cheesy
Wild Mage - Wild surges are fun, but I might get bored with a pure caster
Paladin (with some kit) - good party leader, but LG is not my style and the stronghold is lame
Gnome Fighter/Wild Mage - obviously, I'd have to shadowkeep this one
Gnome Fighter/Illusionist - less cheat-y than F/WM
Sorcerer - the only pure caster I might enjoy, though offensive magic is quite limited later in the game

Anyway, what would you recommend?
You should have no issues with the widescreen mod.

That being said, I think I'd go with either the Sorcerer or the FTR/Illusinist. Sorcerer is powerful and can easily solo BG2, from what I've read. So that wouldn't be a bad choice. FTR/Illusionist just sounds fun to me.
A cleric/thief would fit best to your party setup.
As arcane caster I recommend a sorcerer so you can cast spells without the "know one day before what I'm going to cast next day" metagaming nonsense, just don't complain if the game gets too easy, magic is still overpowered in ToB.
As the game progressed, I remember spending a lot of time using my mages mostly for buffing/debuffing, especially as saving throws dropped. You'd have to doom, GM, Breach, Secret Word, etc. before you could cast the spell you really wanted to cast.

OTOH, the fighters THAC0 would be so low and they would get so many attacks, that they became my real damage dealers.

All in all, I'm not a fan of D&D's magic system, though I like the idea of playing a frontliner with something more than a sword (which is why I was thinking paladin or fighter/spellcaster).
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Kneller: You'd have to doom, GM, Breach, Secret Word, etc. before you could cast the spell you really wanted to cast.
The whole preparation stuff to lower saving throws is mainly useful for giving yourself the illusion of being a smart player using complex tactics, there are faster and more reliable ways to defeat enemies.
The only faster way I know of is spells without saves, which there are a few. However, a fighter can reliably do 3 APR, more so with ImpHaste and GWW. So, figure 5 APR average, with a +3 Longsword (average weapon/damage), and a +5 STR bonus, and you're hitting much more often than not. You could easily be doing15-45 damage per round with a single fighter. Also consider that the further you go, MR is more common than DR.

Like I said, it's been a while since I've played, but if playing with a party, I would think one would do better by treating a mage like a support character for buffs and summons for meat shields.

Feel free to correct me, and suggest a build while you're at it. :)
A cleric/thief would fit best to your party setup.
As arcane caster I recommend a sorcerer
I like the idea of a cleric/thief, though I'm not sure how I would effectively use one. Crappy APR and THAC0. Nerfed level-based cleric spells/effects. What do you think?

As for the Sorc, if I were to play a pure caster, that's the one I would play. Many spells are filler anyway. I could easily limit myself to 5/level. Too bad there isn't a Wild Sorceror. I wonder how that would/could work. Maybe I'll mod a kit. :)
I'm thinking of doing a fighter/illusionist gnome character also. Mostly just for the save bonuses and because I generally avoid gnomes. Otherwise, maybe I'll do a bard.
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Kneller: I'm feeling nostalgic and decided to take another run through the BG saga. Actually, it's been so long that I've forgotten a lot of the story. If I can get it to work with the Widescreen mod, I'll be using EasyTutu to play through with the BG2 system. Anyway, I'm looking for suggestions regarding my protagonist and partly about the party.

For BG1, I'm going canon with Khalid, Jah, Imoen, Minsc, Dynaheir. I'll probably ditch Dyna and maybe even Minsc for a bit when I dual Imoen, just so I can have a thief until she catches up her levels.

For BG2, I'm going with Yoshi/Imoen, Jah, and Minsc, rotating out the rest for NPC quests, though I'm not sure who I'd want to settle on. Also, I'd probably go with the Jah romance.

As for the protagonist. I'm somewhat up in the air. A few thoughts I had:

Ranger/Cleric - interesting combo, but a little cheesy
Wild Mage - Wild surges are fun, but I might get bored with a pure caster
Paladin (with some kit) - good party leader, but LG is not my style and the stronghold is lame
Gnome Fighter/Wild Mage - obviously, I'd have to shadowkeep this one
Gnome Fighter/Illusionist - less cheat-y than F/WM
Sorcerer - the only pure caster I might enjoy, though offensive magic is quite limited later in the game

Anyway, what would you recommend?
Sorcerers get dragon's breath which does 20-200 damage to the enemies, even high level monsters like dragons or lichs are affected, surprisingly few are resistant to fire and they are stunned surprisingly often and even normal spells work on most enemies. Or you can have 5 attacks per round with Melf's or even 9 with energy blades.


Cleric/thief multiclass will have perfect thac0 (base thac0 6 at cleric 22, add strength bonus, weapon bonus, spell and other bonuses and you'll have 95 percent chance to hit everything), the highest casting level and all HLA spells. You can backstab for quintuple damage, set traps and do other funny stuff ...
Cleric/thief multiclass will have...
I really like the idea. It's quite out of the box and seems like a C/T would be pretty versatile (which I particularly like). You can do a lot of interesting, practical things (i.e. sanctuary trapfinding), but how would you use it offensively in an effective way? At a max of 1 APR (two if you dual, but wouldn't be worth it), you're pretty limited in melee (after your backstab). And a priest's magic is definitely pretty limited offensively (especially when you consider the level lag of a multi-class).
Well I suppose with the right buffs he could be an effective fighter (to some degree given his/her lack of weapon proficiency) as well as a healer when needed. Plus you can use glyph's of warding/traps and lure enemies.

Alternatively your party could be led by the fiercest of warriors. A Gnome Barbarian.
Cleric/thief multiclass will have...
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Kneller: I really like the idea. It's quite out of the box and seems like a C/T would be pretty versatile (which I particularly like). You can do a lot of interesting, practical things (i.e. sanctuary trapfinding), but how would you use it offensively in an effective way? At a max of 1 APR (two if you dual, but wouldn't be worth it), you're pretty limited in melee (after your backstab). And a priest's magic is definitely pretty limited offensively (especially when you consider the level lag of a multi-class).
Post edited June 13, 2012 by geoguy2011
Minsc and Jaheira, 2 of the 3 NPCs you chose for BG2 are already very efficient at bashing brainlessly with many attacks per round so a character with more options who needs some thinking would increase the party's overall efficiency.

You could get more attacks per round with dualwielding, casting energy blades or adding the Lathander priest kit to your multiclass (you'll have to mod for getting the Jaheira romance anyway), but if you're only going to bash at everything and get jealous if other party members get more kills it's pointless, you'll have more fun playing a ranger/cleric and keeping Imoen a pure class thief in BG1.
Post edited June 13, 2012 by kmonster
Minsc and Jaheira, 2 of the 3 NPCs you chose for BG2 are already very efficient at bashing brainlessly with many attacks per round so a character with more options who needs some thinking would increase the party's overall efficiency.
I agree with what you're saying. I like the idea of a protagonist that can do many varied useful things. I'm trying to discern what tricks a C/T would have at it's disposal. What do you think?

1) Sanctuary trapfinding. Super useful for sure.
2) Traps. Can these be set under sanctuary as well? That could really turn a battle around.
3) Party support spells (NPP, Free Action, etc.) Not terribly exciting, though.
4) STR boosting spells pre-backstab/whack
5) Find Traps spell, and put thief points elsewhere perhaps

How else do a cleric and thief's skills complement each other?

I'm also back to leaning towards a Pally (Cav), partly for RP reasons. It seems like the kind of class to which a kid from Candlekeep would aspire. And, I would take Vicky for a cleric doing her romance instead which would be an interesting twist for a Pally. Another reason is that I generally prefer single-classed characters these days. 3.x D&D kinda ruined multi-class for me. They're more meta and don't have the style and personality of a single class.
Ok, I'm running my Cav now. It took a few tries to get the install order right for EasyTutu, but it's worth it to play BG1 with the BG2 system. Anyway, a question...

My party for BG1 is going to be Jah, Khalid, Minsc, Dyn, and Imoen. Khal is going to be a dedicated archer, Minsc a dedicated DW (Long swords and flails), and Jah is two weapon fighting with staves. Right now, I have 2h swords (in anticipation of spider's bane and the holy avenger in BG2), but I'm trying to figure out a good 1h weapon to use in the meantime, and for when I want to use a shield. I want something that will be a solid pick through the series, and doesn't overlap with what else I have covered. My thoughts:

1) Bastard Swords. Nobody else is covering it. The +3 vs. shapeshifter one will come in handy in UB, but you get it pretty late, after Spider's Bane, leaving you with nothing until then.
2) Hammers. Bassilus' hammer in BG1 and Crom in BG2. However, I'll have Vic in BG2 and she'll have hammers.
3) Maces. BG1 maces are kinda lame. And the MoD is really the only selling point of maces in BG2.
4) Axes. Obvious choice being Cav, and I'd definitely get it eventually, but except for that miscast magic one in DT, you're not left with much in BG1.

I'm leaning towards Bastard Swords, for no good reason. I just recently watched "Game of Thrones" and thought the whole situation around "Longclaw" (a bastard sword in the show) was pretty cool. Practically thinking, though, it would probably be smarter to go with a crushing weapon. Any suggestions?
Since you barely won't use anything but greatswords in BG2 you can concentrate on the weapons which are most useful in BG1. You get a returning throwing axe +2 in chapter 6 and if you specialize in axes next you'll be able to use it effectively.

I wouldn't even bother with switching between 2-handed weapon and shield, it's annoying and BG1 shields are quite weak anyway, you get maybe +2 AC but loose the extra damage and the extra criticals you get for 2-handed weapon specialization.
The bastard sword +1/+3 vs. shapeshifters just can't compete with the two-handed sword +3 vs. everything you get in Durlag's tower, even vs. shapeshifters.

Quarterstaff is also an option since you'll benefit from the 2-handed specialization, but monsters which are immune to slashing damage are rare.
Post edited June 16, 2012 by kmonster
and BG1 shields are quite weak anyway
I always figured that the extra 2AC mattered in BG1, as THAC0 and AC are both still pretty relevant. 2AC equates to 10% damage resistance, if you think about it. Two-handers only win out if they do 10% more damage than a 1h weapon (not accounting for 2h fighting style, which really only matters 5% of the time anyway). Interestingly, that's not the case in BG1, due to the long sword +2 (Greywolf's). That +3 2H sword is doing 4-13 damage all the time. However, you're doing 4-12 with the longsword +2 (Greywolf's) all the time, which is almost as good as that 2H sword. You're right about bastard swords, though. At best, it's doing 5-11 damage.

However, it's all pretty much academic, though. I (interestingly) seem to have a setup where nobody can really use a shield. Jaheira is using staves (which is why I'm not), Khalid is using bows (so he can't use a shield), Minsc is going to DW, Dynaheir and Imoen can't use shields, and I'll be using a two hander before long.

Ultimately, RP is more important than powergaming to me (which is why I actually probably won't even bother with axes for this char). I just want to make sure I don't overlap too much. I might actually do halberds (eventually) with this one. Polearms and knights kind of go together. I do want to have a blunt onhand for undead though. With a paladin, I see something like a hammer or mace.